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Frequently asked questions about co-op policies and work-term fee

Please review the FAQ below to familiarize yourself with the new policies and updated work-term fee implemented by the Engineering Co-op and Career Services department in August 2023. 

If your question is not answered below, please email your Career Educator for support.  

FAQ last updated: August 24, 2023

Policy FAQs

The Engineering Co-op & Career Services Team has established policies and expectations that will help guide you throughout your co-op journey to ensure your success on the job and in your program.

The policies set out in this document support the operation and delivery of the Faculty of Engineering Co-op Program in alignment with national accreditation standards and expectations set out by Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada. Engineering Co-op & Career Services (ECCS) adheres to these policies and expects the same of McMaster Engineering co-op students.    

There may be some situations that warrant alternative approaches/actions from what is outlined in the policy. Students are expected to contact their Career Educator for guidance and support in advance of acting on their own. 

Co-op Fee FAQs

The Engineering Co-op & Career Services Team has increased the work term fee for BEng, IBEHS and Comp Sci students.

The co-op work-term fee in Engineering is an existing fee that is charged to a student’s financial record in Mosaic upon registering for a 4-month co-op work experience. Since 2009/10 the co-op work term fee for Engineering, Computer Science and IBEHS programs has been $300/work term. For work terms beginning Fall 2023 and beyond, a $50/work term fee increase will take effect and is in alignment with the academic course calendar and timelines for course registration. The new fee is $350/work term. 

We’re moving forward to ensure a better experience for you. For the first time since 2009/10, the fee is changing from $300 to $350 per work term, a 17% increase. Even with the increase, our fees remain the lowest co-op fees in the country.

This change is about maintaining and enhancing your program benefits, backed by solid reasoning. Consider the developments since 2009:

  1. Market Inflation: A 37% increase in market demands and costs.
  2. Enrollment Growth: A 91% spike in undergraduate co-op student enrollment.
  3. Work Term Opportunities: A 590% surge in available undergraduate co-op work terms.
  4. Support Team Expansion: A 210% growth in staffing for top-notch support.
  5. Salaries on the Rise: A 20% increase in average co-op salaries.

We’re not just adapting; we’re staying ahead. The needs of students like you, evolving workplaces, and changing employer expectations shape this decision. Through the fee increase, we’re unlocking potential to elevate your co-op experience.

From improving your career readiness and strengthening connections with employers to streamlining resources and offering more networking opportunities, the investment is all about propelling you toward a more successful and rewarding co-op journey.

  1. Career Preparation: Expect more comprehensive programming to sharpen your job-seeking skills and secure better co-op opportunities.
  2. Employer Interaction: More employer presence at on-campus events and in workshop programming will connect you with more employers more often.
  3. Streamlined Resources: The OSCARplus system will be optimized to provide all essential information in one accessible place.
  4. Networking Opportunities: Additional events will facilitate connections with industry professionals and boost your job search and work experiences.

In essence, this fee increase aims to elevate your co-op journey by boosting career readiness, employer engagement, resource efficiency, and networking potential.

While the co-op fee is associated with work term registration, it’s important to note that it’s not solely a placement fee. The fee contributes to a range of services subsidized by work term fees. In addition to managing employer partnerships and job postings, the ECCS team offers a comprehensive suite of services and programming designed to provide co-op students with vital training and skill development opportunities before their work term. This also involves regular check-ins with ECCS staff throughout the co-op experience to ensure your success in all aspects of the co-op journey, including support during crisis situations. In addition to curating job posting for OSCARPlus, here are some of the ways the ECCS team supports you:

  • Employment preparation courses
  • Individualized career guidance and job search assistance
  • Access to events, workshops, and networking opportunities
  • Dedicated work term support
  • Efficient program administration

Paying the co-op fee doesn’t just secure your co-op position; it grants you access to a wealth of resources, guidance, and support that elevate your overall co-op experience.